Hypothyroid vs Hashimoto’s: What’s the difference?

Hypothyroid vs Hashimoto’s: What’s the difference?

Are you suffering from Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism?

Do you completely understand what these conditions mean and how they impact your body?

Did you know that these conditions are different and may require different treatments?

In this article, I’m going to explain the difference between these two conditions and discuss why it’s important to know what is happening in your body. 

Highlights from the article:

  • Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are similar but not the exact same.
  • Hypothyroidism is a broad term used to describe a state of low thyroid function in the body. Some patients with Hashimoto’s may also have hypothyroidism, but having Hashimoto’s does not guarantee that you will be hypothyroid. 
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease and may be associated with episodes of hyperthyroidism, normal thyroid function, and hypothyroidism. 
  • Both conditions are treated differently so it’s important to know which condition you have!

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are Similar but Different

Let’s first start by defining hypothyroidism because it is easier to understand compared to Hashimoto’s. 

Hypothyroidism simply refers to a state of low thyroid function in the body. 

This state is almost always the result of decreased thyroid hormone production directly from the thyroid gland, but it can also be from resistance to thyroid hormone at the cellular level (this one is rare though, so let’s focus more on the thyroid gland production issue). 

It’s pretty simple actually:

Whenever your thyroid gland, which sits in your neck, can’t produce enough thyroid hormone for your body and cells you will experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism

These symptoms include things like fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, cold intolerance, constipation, other hormone issues, and so on. 

But saying you have hypothyroidism is not very specific because there are a great many things that can cause hypothyroidism including Hashimoto’s. 

outline of thyroid function and thyroid gland activity in the body

But while Hashimoto’s can cause hypothyroidism, there are also many many other things that can lead to this state of disordered thyroid hormone production (some of the causes are listed below). 

Knowing you have hypothyroidism is important, though, because that means that something is necessary to fix that problem. 

Most of the therapies for hypothyroidism are directed at trying to improve how much thyroid hormone is floating around in your body. 

You can do this by using natural therapies (listed here) or you can do it by taking thyroid hormone medication

The big difference between hypothyroidism (the state of low thyroid function in the body) and Hashimoto’s, is that both Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism can co-exist together but they don’t necessarily have to. 

It’s possible for you to have both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, but it’s also possible for you to have Hashimoto’s and not be in a state of hypothyroidism. 


Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism only refer to the state of thyroid function and activity in your body, they don’t tell you anything about what caused the problem. 

And this is a big deal because understanding the cause of your condition helps to guide your treatment. 


Foods to Avoid if you Have Thyroid Problems:

I’ve found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should avoid if you have thyroid disease of any type.


The Complete List of Thyroid Lab tests:

The list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose and manage thyroid disease correctly!


Hashimoto’s Explained

While hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are not the same thing it’s important to realize that the vast majority of cases of hypothyroidism are caused by Hashimoto’s. 

This is true simply because the most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 

It is estimated that roughly 60-80% of all cases of hypothyroidism are due to this autoimmune condition (1). 

So, if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you may have hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto’s without even realizing it. 

How can this be?

I discuss why in the section below. 

There are some important distinctions between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s that we should touch on now. 

The first is that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition caused by the attack of your own immune system on your thyroid gland (2). 

This autoimmune attack, if not suppressed or treated, may ultimately lead to the permanent destruction of your thyroid gland. 

The second is that Hashimoto’s is associated with more than just hypothyroidism. 

YouTube video

Patients with Hashimoto’s often experience episodes of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and even normal thyroid function. 

This roller coaster of symptoms is often VERY frustrating for patients because you can go from feeling “normal” to gain 5-10 pounds in the course of a month

The reason for this has to do with how autoimmune conditions influence your thyroid. 

Hashimoto’s damages your thyroid from inflammation, but this inflammation doesn’t always ensure that your thyroid gland will be unable to produce less thyroid hormone. 

Sometimes this inflammation results in the release of MORE thyroid hormone which causes hyperthyroidism. 

And sometimes, due to reasons we don’t fully understand, your thyroid can become completely normal and not cause you any issues. 

When treating Hashimoto’s (something I touch on below), the entire goal is to try and harness that state and reduce immune attack and damage to your thyroid gland. 

Third, the causes of Hashimoto’s are different from those things which cause hypothyroidism. 

Hypothyroidism can be caused by (3):

  • Nutrient and iodine deficiencies
  • Removal of the thyroid gland or exposure to radioactive iodine
  • Severe dieting or calorie restriction
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications
  • Damage to your pituitary or hypothalamus (certain parts of your brain)
  • Damage to the thyroid gland from trauma
  • Inflammation in the thyroid gland from infection (virus or bacterial)
  • Being born without a thyroid gland

Hashimoto’s, on the other hand, is often caused by the following:

potential causes of hashimoto's thyroiditis

And lastly, Hashimoto’s should be differentiated from hypothyroidism because it is a potentially reversible cause of hypothyroidism. 

Not all cases of Hashimoto’s will necessarily progress to hypothyroidism (even without treatment). 

There is a small chance that your body can recover (10), that your immune system can stabilize, and that you will no longer suffer from this debilitating condition.

This can even happen in the absence of treatments or therapies!

Now that we are getting into treatment territory, let’s go into a little more detail.

Treatment is Different for Each Condition

Perhaps the most important distinction between these two conditions is the fact that each one is treated differently!

This may come as a surprise to you, however, because most physicians are not concerned about distinguishing between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. 

I’ll explain why:

Doctors, including endocrinologists, believe that it isn’t necessary to treat Hashimoto’s for two main reasons. 

The first is the fact that autoimmune diseases can’t really be treated with conventional medicines (but that doesn’t mean they can’t be treated with natural therapies such as diet, stress reduction, supplements, exercise, and so on). 

The second is because they feel that most cases of Hashimoto’s will ultimately end up causing hypothyroidism and that you will eventually need to be on thyroid medication anyway. 

So, the logic goes, let’s just wait until your thyroid gland is destroyed enough that it impacts thyroid function negatively and put you on thyroid medication and then call it a day. 

This obviously doesn’t sit well with most people who would like to at least try to prevent this damage from occurring. 

And, believe it or not, there are a great many people who strongly believe (I happen to be one of them) that certain therapies may be able to prevent the so-called inevitable decline of thyroid function in your body. 

The reason that most conventional doctors including family practice doctors and endocrinologists don’t believe in this approach (11) is that there aren’t clinical studies to fall back on to prove that these therapies are effective. 

join 80,000 other thyroid patients who have used dr. westin childs' thyroid support supplements.

But just because there aren’t studies proving that they work doesn’t mean that they don’t!

You have to remember that it costs a lot of money to conduct a clinical study and most of that money comes from pharmaceutical companies who have “skin in the game” in the form of some sort of medication (12). 

They are willing to provide money for a study to see if their drug positively impacts Hashimoto’s, but they have little incentive to fund a study for supplements or other natural therapies which may compete with their own medication. 

That means there isn’t much incentive for someone to conduct a study to see whether or not diet impacts Hashimoto’s. 

After all, who would pay for it? 

But, as I said earlier, it doesn’t mean that these therapies are not effective. 

In addition, it’s not as if changing your diet or adding exercise to your daily routine is going to cause significant harm to your body. 

You should, however, avoid natural therapies which have outrageous claims or ones that are incredibly expensive and not likely to work. 

I should also point out that not all natural therapies work, and that there is a theoretical possibility that the benefit from these therapies is simply due to the placebo effect.

While I don’t believe that this is true, there is a possibility that it could be. 

For more information on therapies (natural and medical), I would recommend that you check out this article

How do you Tell The Difference?

Most of you are probably aware of which condition you have, either hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s. 

Some of you may actually have both. 

But what about the others who aren’t quite sure? 

How do they figure out what is happening in their body?

If you fit into this category, then your next step should be to try and figure out exactly what is going on in your body. 

You can do this through basic tests which help you understand how your thyroid is operating and whether or not you are showing signs of having autoimmune thyroiditis. 

This can be easily accomplished with the following tests: 

  • Thyroid function lab tests – Thyroid function lab tests can tell you how well your thyroid is functioning but they don’t tell you why it may be underperforming or overperforming. These tests are always necessary to get but don’t always give you a lot of information about the cause of your issue. 
  • Thyroid antibody testing – Thyroid antibody testing can help diagnose and differentiate between the various causes of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. If your thyroid antibodies are positive then there is a very high probability that you are suffering from autoimmune thyroiditis. It’s important to note, however, that it’s possible for you to have elevated antibodies and NOT have Hashimoto’s, so this test is not 100% perfect. 
  • Thyroid Ultrasound – Another easy way to diagnose autoimmune disease is through the use of thyroid ultrasound. This test can help give you information about the size of your thyroid gland and whether or not inflammation is present. This test is non-invasive and is relatively easy to perform. 
  • Biopsy (rarely necessary) – Lastly, you can also get a thyroid biopsy to definitely diagnose Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or other thyroid issues. While this test is by far the most accurate way to diagnose thyroid problems (13), it’s also the most invasive of all the tests and carries with it significant risks. It’s best to use this test only as a last resort or in cases where a biopsy is absolutely necessary (such as testing for thyroid cancer). 

By obtaining these tests you should be able to figure out what is causing your thyroid problems which can help you determine how to treat your issue. 

My recommendation is to start with basic blood tests including thyroid function lab tests and thyroid antibody tests. 

These tests only require a blood draw and can give you plenty of information. 

In more difficult-to-diagnose cases, you may be required to undergo ultrasound testing or even a biopsy but this is not common. 

Do you Need Hypothyroid Medication? 

Lastly, I should say a word about thyroid medication. 

Thyroid medication is the treatment for hypothyroidism and it may also be required if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 

Thyroid medication is taken by mouth each and every day and it’s supposed to help normalize thyroid function in your body. 

Because your own thyroid gland can’t produce enough thyroid hormone on its own, you can take thyroid medication to help supplement the difference. 

But it’s important that you don’t confuse thyroid medication with other prescription medications. 

While thyroid medication does require a prescription to get, it’s unlike other prescription medications because it is an exact replica of the same thyroid hormone that your body produces naturally. 

Other medications, such as blood pressure medication and cholesterol-lowering medication, are artificially and synthetically created and are not normally found in your body. 

These medications alter your physiology to create some desired outcome. As this occurs, it’s not unusual for people to experience negative and unwanted side effects. 

Some people taking thyroid medication do experience side effects, but the vast majority should actually feel BETTER when taking thyroid medication. 

If you are taking thyroid medication and not feeling better then that may be an indication that your dose of thyroid medication is off

Because taking too little or taking too much can all cause issues, but not because of the medication itself, instead, it is related to your dose. 

But, even having said all of this, it may not be required for all people with Hashimoto’s to take thyroid medication. 

There is a chance that you can “cure” your disease and help your thyroid function normally again on its own if you have Hashimoto’s. 

This can also be true of hypothyroidism, but it depends on the CAUSE of the disease. 

If your cause is potentially reversible, then you may not need to be on medication long-term. 

But, if your cause is not reversible, then you may need to be on medication indefinitely. 

This applies to people who have late-stage Hashimoto’s where their thyroid gland has atrophied and been destroyed as a result of chronic inflammation. 

People in this category will require thyroid medication indefinitely.

Early-stage Hashimoto’s, on the other hand, may be able to be treated naturally and long-term use of thyroid medication may be avoided. 

Wrapping it Up

The bottom line?

There is an important distinction between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and this distinction has a great impact on your health and your treatment options. 

If you are suffering from hypothyroidism then you absolutely must be tested for Hashimoto’s. 

You might be surprised to know that many doctors don’t think to do this so it may be prudent for you to ask (even if you’ve been taking thyroid medication for years!). 

If you have hypothyroidism you should always be searching for the cause of your thyroid problem because once you know the cause then you can attempt to reverse or treat the main issue. 

Note, however, that it may not always be possible for you to do this (some thyroid conditions are not reversible). 

Now I want to hear from you:

Do you have hypothyroidism?

Do you also have Hashimoto’s or do you suspect that you do?

Have you been properly tested?

Are you struggling to feel better? Why or why not?

Leave your questions or comments below! 

#1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016247/

#2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3821488/

#3. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/122393-overview

#4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25931043

#5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056127/

#6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3271310/

#7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15650357

#8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2935336/

#9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16804512

#10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407020/

#11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011931/

#12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC156458/

#13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3851014/

hashimoto's versus hypothryoidism pinterest image.

picture of westin childs D.O. standing

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 80,000+ people have used them over the last 7 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do.

P.S. Here are 4 ways you can get more help right now:

#1. Get my free thyroid downloads, resources, and PDFs here.

#2. Need better symptom control? Check out my thyroid supplements.

#3. Sign up to receive 20% off your first order.

#4. Follow me on Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram for up-to-date thyroid tips, tricks, videos, and more.

43 thoughts on “Hypothyroid vs Hashimoto’s: What’s the difference?”

  1. I have hypothyroidism but am suspicious that I also have Hashimoto’s. Mine started at 16 with a goiter and being hyperthyroid. Lasted about 6 yrs then went hypo. I have had trouble finding Dr’s who understand and who really want to work at figuring things out. I have a few cysts on my thyroid which have been biopsied. I am now 66 and I would really like to FINALLY feel well/better.

    • Hi Gloria,

      It can certainly be difficult to find people willing to work with you but it’s not impossible. I would keep at it and try to get tested for your thyroid antibodies the next time you go in. Just note that some people who have had Hashimoto’s may have negative antibodies if their thyroid has been destroyed, so it’s possible to have negative antibodies but still have Hashimoto’s.

      • Hi Westin
        I have Lupus and Antiphospolipid Syndrome (APS) aka Hughes Syndrome. I was told I had Cormorbid hypothyroidism and take synthyroid tablets. 0.1 mg. I had TSh t3and t5. No reverse t 3 or the other important tests. Would I be a good candidate for a scan? Or should I do a diet and get off the meds? Also are synthyroid tables natural thyroid hormone or synthetic? Does synthyroid tablets cause osteoporosis? I’m seeing a endroconologist in 2 weeks. Do you have any suggestions for me to ask her? Thank you. You can tell I’m all over the place but I’m so done with medications!

  2. Hello
    I’m glad I ran across your site, I have been hypo for years I also have Hashimotos, I would like to find another doctor in my area that can help me with both Hypo and Hashimoto my endocrinologist who I just became a patient with, is following the same protocol that the last two endocrinologists has followed, give me Synthroid change my dosage and send me home, they never talk about or how to treat Hashimoto, I am in the Dallas, Fort Worth area of Texas HELP IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE I CAN reach out to set up an appointment…Thanks for reading my message Have a great Weekend.

  3. Hello Dr. Child’s
    I so enjoy your information! I’m 68 years old and
    I have had thyroid issues for 20 years. I’ve had an ultrasound and a biopsy and finally diagnosed as having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I take Levothyroid, 112 mcg daily…and Cytomel, 25mg, one day a week…My TSH has been on a roller-coaster ride forever! When my Thyroid dose is increased…I go into atrial fib…
    I’m exhausted constantly….and have gained 40 lbs, that I can’t lose, no matter how hard I try! I’m trying to figure out how to maintain somewhat of a balance in my body, but there certainly doesn’t seem to be a way. I have labs done every 2 mos….trying to keep my thyroid balanced…

  4. Hi I like most ‘thyroid patients’ in the UK have had Liothyronine taken away and now feel like death!! I suffer pretty much the usual symptoms, exhaustion, aches, and a huge weight gain, this affects my confidence as well as giving me concern for health in general. I had a private blood test and T3 was 3.41, TSH 0.81, TPA 204, Thyroglobulin Antibodies 4000, so pretty much certain it’s Hashimto’s. Only advice here is eat less (I couldn’t!) and go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week …….I can hardly walk up the road some days I am so exhausted. I need tosort me out before taking those steps, however docs can’t see this. I am thinking of starting the 5:2 diet, do you recommend it please?

  5. Good morning,

    I am currently taking synthroid, and have for about 20 years, with dosage changing depending on lab results. Currently my TSH level is 1.53 (normal listed as .35-4.3) However, my T3 Free and my T4 free are low (T3 is 2.64 with range listed as 2.89-4.88 and T4 is 9.6 with range listed as 9.0-19.0). My doc is stumped and sending me to an internal specialist and I am also being followed by a functional medicine specialist. I am wondering if you know of some reasons that might cause low T3 and low T4? I have been following an autoimmune protocol diet for close to a year, with some success in resolving digestive issues, but weight gain is still an issue as is lethargy and hair loss. I am wondering if you might know of a cause of ‘normal’ TSH with low free T3 ans T4 and any possible treatment protocol suggestions?

  6. My thyroid levels were tested for the first time when I was pregnant with my second child and going through major life transitions and stress. I had my 5th child a year ago, and in between that time my levels have varied a lot and I’ve been on and off medication. I have a small goiter. I was told at one point that I DON’T have Hashimotos because my antibodies were negative, but my most recent panels showed positive antibodies. I’m currently on medication, but also doing a “reset diet” in hopes of either getting off medication eventually or at least staying on the lowest dose. I’m just still not sure if I have Hashimotos. Would you recommend seeking confirmation that I do have it?

    • Hi Hannah,

      A thyroid ultrasound would be a reasonable next step, but I don’t think it’s worth it to get a biopsy. If your antibodies are positive and your thyroid lab tests are abnormal, it’s pretty safe to assume you have autoimmune thyroiditis.

  7. I’ve been diagnosed with both hypothyroidism (1992) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (2006), and when I read your story about your mother and your sister, it was as though you had described my own thyroid journey without the happy ending. My case is unlike any of the others posted. I was fortunate to find an endocrinologist that recognized I was unable to convert T4 to T3 and started treating me with Cytomel only in 2006. At that time, Cytomel was made by King Pharmaceutical and it was the only T3 medication made. For the following five years, I was successfully treated with 100mcg of Cytomel daily. However, in 2011, after Pfizer bought King Pharmaceutical and the rights to Cytomel, it changed the formulation from a corn starch filler to a wheat starch filler. On its label, it listed it as a food starch so non-specific. I suffered and my health significantly declined over the course of the next five years to a point of incapacitation. By the spring of 2016, in addition to the digestive and respiratory symptoms my physicians had identified as nonspecific, I had also developed the celiac mirrored rash on both legs and the dental manifestations strongly associated with Celiac Disease, non-Celiac gluten intolerance or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. About the same time, my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and coincidently, Dr. Izabella Wentz had collected signatures for a petition requesting Pfizer change Cytomel’s filler from a wheat starch to a corn starch filler after Pfizer finally disclosed to her that Cytomel contained gluten. Although Pfizer stated it would change the filler from a wheat starch to a corn starch, I tried it again 18 months after I discontinued it and had started taking a compounded T3 medication. I had also started a gluten free diet. Within a few hours after taking the first dose, I became very ill again, and after 10 days discontinued it. The only change Pfizer made to Cytomel was it changed the manufacturer on its label to Monarch, one of it’s subsidiaries. Given the damage to my body I sustained after taking Pfizer’s Cytomel formulation for five years in such a high dose, I developed absorption issues and systemic symptoms that have persisted three years after I discontinued it. I have been unable to find a T3 medication replacement that I can tolerate and effectively controls my symptoms. A month ago, I finally started treatment with T3 compounded with cocoa butter troche, but at 1/3 the dose taken every 6 hours instead of every four hours. Although some days it appears to work much quicker and control symptoms better than others, I am still struggling with hypothyroidism and debilitating symptoms. Although I’ve made dietary changes and have tried supplements found to help others regain, or at least improve, their health, I am still lost and discouraged in a maze I can’t seem to find my way out of or whether the damage inflicted on my body will continue to challenge, complicate or prevent the outcome I’ve fought so hard to obtain. An improved health state and quality of life.

    FYI: Despite on prescription drug lists online that classify Cytomel as gluten free, other patients with gluten issues that tried Cytomel in small dosages added to their treatment with T4 post-disclosure and after Pfizer’s commitment to change it to a gluten free formulation have also complained it made them ill and had to discontinue it. Another problem is posts submitted by patients who started compounded combination formulations of T3 and T4, and said they improved, refer to the T3 in their compounded formulation as Cytomel rather than T3. Their confusion makes Cytomel ratings misleading.

  8. I have been diagnosed with Hypo and Hashimoto. It’s been 7 years, recently started seeing a naturopathic dr to see if it’s possible that I could come off meds. Still in that process! I feel ok other than being cold, reynaulds , and some brain fog! Would love for you for expound a little on HOW to find out what caused this. I’ve been told wheat/gluten.. but not sure HOW that decision came about!
    Thanks for your article!!

  9. 38 now. diagnosed at 23 with hypothyroidism and hashimotos as well as IBS. Have been on Synthroid for the majority of the 15 years because all attempts at other meds ended badly. Not sure but may have had a hashimotos encephalitis episode 2014/2015, thought I was going to have to be committed (personality changed, motor function changed, seizures). Had abnormal pap 2017/2018 and have fibroid on uterus and cysts on ovary. Have started trying to go gluten free(easier said than done with a family) and am seeing improvements in joint pain and swelling but have recently started having high blood sugar in the morning(insulin resistance??). I am still tired with achey legs the majority of the time and having horrible headaches,hair thinning and hair loss. I think I have digestive issues but can’t get them checked until insurance kicks in (2 family members had part of intestine/bowel removed). Hopefully with insurance starting 2020 I can make progress and get answers.

    • Hello Joni,

      My name is Charity. I have had PCOS for 24 years. I just got hypothyroid hashimotos with autoimmune gastritis. Fibriods and insulin resistance are a huge factor for PCOS. Also with PCOS you are 3x more likely to have both Hashimoto’s and PCOS. I suggest asking your gynecologist. I take Metformin, becease of my pcos my my t4 wont change so I am on both hypo and hyper thyroid meds. wholistivally i take a tablespoon of apple cidar vinager and 100% aloe vera to help keep my multi autoimmunes down. One is an anti toxin. The other is a healer. Hope that helps.

  10. I was involved in a rear end collision, hit at a stoplight by a car going 45+mph at the time of direct impact.2years ago and still I suffered continuous concussion symptoms, whiplash, and mild TBI, cervical injuries requiring surgery of 2 Discs and plates. My health and brain health has severely declined. Simple tasks from beginning can put me in bed for 1-3 days, no energy to do daily tasks, bathe do you weakness a lot. Have complained and pushed for answers. Now symptoms are worse and have been diagnosed with Hashimotos immune disease, goiter and antibodies are high, out of control. 4 months of levothyroxine 50 for 2 month and now 75 with nothing getting better. I have read your articles and saved for help with my treatment. I did not have ANY symptoms of this before my accident and was very healthy, active and functional. How does a rear end car accident affect the neck, brain, and thyroid function? How to understand this and treat to get better or relief?

    • Hi Tami,

      Could be pituitary damage. Men/women who serve overseas suffer from pituitary damage which leads to problems with thyroid/adrenal/growth hormone due to shock damage from explosions. I would check your pituitary hormones with lab tests and imaging studies.

  11. Hi Dr. Childs,
    I have Hashimotos Hypothyroidism. I take 50mcg daily . I was taking 75mcg . Neither dosage helps at all .
    According to all the endocrinologists I’ve seen ,my blood tests look good . I have all the typical symptoms , fatigue , hair loss weight gain , etc . I eat clean and work out daily . I don’t know what else to try . One doctor prescribed low dose naltrexone 1.5 mcg which seemed to be helping a bit but the side effects were a bit rough . Any suggestions ?
    Best –

  12. Hi Dr Childs,
    Thank you for the information. I just had a second opinion with another doctor who thought to do the Antibody test and the Ultra sound. I do have Hashimotos after all. I am told I don’t have Hypothyroidism, but there is atrophy to my Thyroid? I am on Levothyroxine that is making my TSH normal for a year now. My only symptoms would be a Leaky gut and heavy painful periods. I am 40 yrs old, slender but do extreme diet and exercise to stay that way. I still have a thick but gradually thinner head of hair. My second doctor even stated I don’t look like the typical Hashimotos patient. The doctors have told me only to prepare for the symptoms and I cant except that. What other things can I do?? If I addressed my Leaky gut would it improve my odds of getting Hypothyroidism??

  13. I had postpartum thyroiditis complicated by hoshimotos. But that was 7 years ago! Now it’s just full blown hoshimotos and hypothyroid! I take 137mcg of Tirosint daily. For the past 3-4 weeks have felt my thyroid getting enlarged. Is it all too late to reverse? You are correct that Doctors NEVER want to naturally help patients. It’s frustrating to know that I possibly could have gotten off my meds and been symptom free, but now I think it’s too late…….am I wrong? Or is it too late?

    • Hi Mrs. Goysich,

      It is probably not too late if it’s only been 7 years. It’s always a good idea to start as soon as possible, though!

  14. Hi I am 51 have Hashimoto and thyroid nodules can you tell me how you diagnose what stage your Hashimoto autoimmune disease is in?

    What are the symptoms of late stage?

  15. I asked my dr about my hypothyroidism. He said I am not lacking the hormone. The ‘vehicle’ getting the hormone from the thyroid gland to the cells is the problem. He suggested levothyroxin is the vehicle.
    Can you expand on this?

    • Hi Carol,

      He’s just telling you the same thing that everyone else says in a different way. Doctors are afraid to use T3 so they recommend T4 (levothyroxine or Synthroid) at all costs and for strange reasons. He’s suggesting that because T4 is converted to T3 that you only need the T4 but this has been shown to be incorrect for most thyroid patients.

  16. Very interesting and thought provoking. I have a multitude of symptoms that haven’t gotten better, if anything they have worsened. I’ve been taking Levothyroxin for about 3 years with dosage being upped twice. The specialist said Hashimoto’s (had Hodgkins disease and he thought treatment for that and the fact that my father had thyroid issues was what caused my problem). I will be speaking with my PCP regarding switching meds AND beginning the natural methods you’ve suggested.

    • Hi Researchgamma,

      That sounds like a good plan! I hope you can find some relief/improvement in your symptoms.

  17. My husband has an elevated TSH of 15 but normal (lower limit) T4. should we insist on thyroid antibody testing?

    • Hi Tracy,

      It would be a very good idea to get antibody testing to rule out autoimmune thyroid disease as the cause.

  18. Thanks Dr. Childs. For the last 3-4 years, my Family Doctor only checked the TSH. It went from 4 to 6 to 9.8 (last month). Yesterday, I did a few more tests and these are the results:
    TSH: 6.5 (down from 9.8)
    T4= 14 pmol/L (Normal)
    T3= 3.9 pmol/L (Normal)

    I haven’t noticed any symptoms at all.

    What condition do I have? Do I need to take any medications?

    Thank you

  19. Hi! I’m 51 and was dx with hypothyroidism at 31, after having my 2nd child. My levels were ok but doc agreed to treat me due to symptoms, mainly migraines. I have been on synthroid since. Tried others like Armour & NP at times.

    Hadn’t considered Hashimotos until recently. Having many, many more migraines and just don’t feel good most days. Levels are fine.

    Just found your site. Will keep reading. Thank you!

  20. Hi there. Your info here was probably the most informative that i have found so far. I have been on thyroid meds since my late 20’s and i’m almost 40. My new Dr. recently tested me for hoshimotos. So my thyroid hormone level is normal, however my AB thyroid microsomal came back at 228. She is sending me to an endocrinologist and I go in January. I’m just wondering since i’m already on thryroid meds, what is the point with going to endocrinologist? is it worth it to make sure there is nothing else wrong like cancer and so forth?

    • Hi Nicole,

      From the perspective of your conventional doctor, there is really no point to send you there. But from your perspective, knowing it’s Hashimoto’s is very important because it changes how you look at treatment. Knowing it’s Hashimoto’s doesn’t change how your doctor will treat you, but it does give you the opportunity to try natural treatments that focus on both your immune system and thyroid function.

  21. Thank you for this information it was helpful for me. You asked some questions at the end, I can answer a couple and I also have a concern. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in my early teenage years (about 2002-2003). I presented with an enlargement in my neck that prompted an ultrasound, which results showed my Right thyroid was enlarged (no goiter, no nodules, it was just enlarged). From then I was treated for Hypothyroidism. Fast forward to December 2022. I had been off of my thyroid medication for several months (we had been moving around so I just wasn’t diligent as I should have been in changing pharmacies all over creation). I found a Family Doctor, who is AWESOME!! He decided to turn my neglect into a positive and do a FULL thyroid panel (TSH, T3, T4, T3 Reverse, both antibodies; he also ordered homocysteine and and checked my sugars, kidneys, liver, electrolytes, hemoglobin, ferritin, etc.) and an ultrasound. I just got the results for everything, I got gold stars on the homocysteine and everything else not pertaining to my thyroid panel, those levels came back all perfectly normal (high five!!). The ultrasound showed my right is slightly larger than the left but not enough to cause any concern, and there is a 4mm nodule on the right but again not big enough to cause any concern. The result of the panel showed antibodies for both. He compared my previous levels from over the years and concluded I now have Hashimotos. I did have two miscarriages (2015 and 2018) and carried to term in 2020, and that pregnancy I was tested for thyroid antibodies and they showed up then (since I received my original diagnosis at a young age I’m not sure if that was the first time I was checked for them). He explained that it’s possible it was Hashimotos all along, or my pregnancy quite possibly caused the Hashimotos. He gave me a giant list of vitamins to start taking on top of a natural thyroid prescription. Here is my concern: Since I’m not sure if I was ever checked for antibodies, if in fact I had Hashimotos all along, how concerned should I be that it went about 20 years not properly treated? IS there cause for concern seeing that all my labs and the ultrasound came back normal? Are there cases of people presenting with hypothyroidism for a long period of time, like me, and then something causes Hashimotos or it was a misdiagnosis in the first place?
    Again, thank you for this article and thank you for your time.

    • Hi Stefanie,

      In short, yes, there are instances all of the time of those who have been improperly diagnosed with hypothyroidism when they actually had Hashimoto’s. There are also many instances of those who were never properly diagnosed and by the time they figure it out, they are already in end-stage Hashimoto’s with complete thyroid gland atrophy.

      This sort of thing is very common. The absence of antibodies 20 years later is not necessarily a good thing, though it could be, depending on the situation.

      You can learn more about the various stages of Hashimoto’s here: https://www.restartmed.com/stages-of-hashimotos/

  22. Gerry Hi, I had a blood work and ultrasound in June 2022, they didn’t see any thin with ultrasound sound, they did say I have T4- 4.9 what does that number mean, I don’t want to take medicine for this, can you tell me what will help me and what foods and drinks I can have, I don’t know who to see about this,I’m 66 I never had anything like this, I just been trying to do this myself but don’t know what going on with it,I know you can’t tell me much but I could use some help, I don’t see many systems like I read about you get, I gain weight but I’m not busy as I use to,so I would appreciate some advice about supplements, foods to eat

  23. 22yrs old told I had hypo. Here, take synthroid. I’m now 72. I was once told I had Hashimotos. I’ve always had a ‘lump’ on my thyroid the size of a dime. Had MRIs. Didn’t find anything wrong with my pituitary or hypothalamus. When I was 22. Never again. Have Horners syndrome. When I workout I get red and sweat on only half my body. There’s a line right down the middle! Kinda funny. Started with what seemed like a terrible BAD eye infection. Then after that my left pupil was pin point and stayed like that. After a few years it got bigger., but never the same as the right eye.
    My eyes always are ted and blood shot. Looks like I’ve been blowing weed! They itch all the time.
    I’m greatly fatigued all the time. My hair is falling out. Eye brows disappearing. Eye lashes disappearing. Migraines. Bone on bone arthritis. I’ve always had a great diet. I taught aerobics for 40 years! Lifted weights.
    Started telling the NP I’m so tired allll the time! I get the blood draw. Your getting enough. Actually too much. They lowered me to 88mg. Or however the amount is.
    I have chronic pain everywhere. I honestly feel like I’m slowly dying.
    Went to an expert. Your getting enough. That’s the only test you need. (The blood draw) well, guess what? It AIN’T gettin’ thru to my cells!! I’ve been learning alot lately
    Then they pull this xray up and show me my thyroid. It looked like a deflated blob! I started laughing! Apparently, he said, you’ve been taking toooo much! And I must of killed it? And actually, I don’t know where they got that xray from. I didn’t get one recently at all.
    Told me it’ll come back..we’re lowering it and it’ll take awhile, but it’ll come back. Not yet. Been a year. Not yet, they’ve said anyway. I think I may have been on about 111 or 112. I was still within ‘the range’ numbers.
    I’m fed up. Tired. Angry. Dying. It feels like. No energy. Sleep terrible. Can’t drop a single pound. I have an appt. We’d. I don’t know what to say to my NP other than what I said here. Again. I live in Minnesota. Don’t know who would be a good doc to see. Anyway, thanks for listening. You can email me at kathyscoot@frontier.com
    Thank you!!!!

  24. Hello

    I’m really try to avoid medication. Currently I take none. I am a 45 yo female. I was just at my PCP. She wants to start Synthroid 25mcg. Labs as follows:
    TSH is 5.220
    T4 is 5.4
    Thyroid Peroxidase is 113
    Thyroglibulin Antibody is <1.0
    Should I push for a thyroid ultrasound?

    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Theresa,

      I guess my question is what are you hoping to find by looking at your thyroid via ulstrasound? What information will that provide that will change your treatment or outcome? You already have enough information to suggest that you should be aggressively changing your lifestyle to try and treat the problem and, if you can’t do that or don’t want to, then your only other option is to take medication.


Leave a Comment

Your Cart
Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
Calculate Shipping